Officials of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City are warning patients and staff against using the showers and faucets after a test of the facility’s water system revealed the presence of legionella bacteria. Results came back on September 16, 2011.
One patient tested positive for the disease on September 15, 2011, the day before legionella was found in the water. The director of infection control at the hospital said that the Center is working with city and state health officials to determine whether the patient acquired Legionnaires’ disease before or after being admitted to the hospital. So far, no other patients have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease.
As a precaution, the usage of tap water for drinking and bathing has been suspended, and the hospital is providing bottled water for drinking and pre-moistened towelettes for bathing. There is no word at this point of disinfection efforts undertaken by the hospital.